TL;DR – No matter how well it is filmed or acted, I can’t recommend it on the story alone which is a deeply disturbing slog with no real redeemable features.
Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars
Oh boy, is this is a tough film to review, and I am going to be honest right from the start that I’ll be quite negative towards the film because of its subject material. Now you might agree with this or not, but for me personally, I found this film to be deeply disturbing and frankly I completely understand why people walked out of my showing. Just a warning that there will be major spoilers in this review.
TL;DR – A beautiful story of loss, exploitation, grief, and trying to find out what home means, in the absence of any real information of where it could be.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
It might be one of those universal experiences, you’re walking through a shopping centre, theme park, city street, etc. with your parents and then you look up and realise you don’t know where they are. That feeling of being lost as a real and palpable fear and thankfully for most of us it short lived. However, this is not the case for Saroo, indeed for Saroo it was not a momentary fear, for him it was a life changing event. Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierley (Sunny Pawar & Dev Patel) who one day after working in rural India with his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), joins him on a train ride to a nearby settlement so Guddu can find some night work for them to help their mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) who works as a labourer to make ends meet. Then Saroo ends up getting stuck on a train which is not going to the next station, but instead travelling 1500km to Calcutta, a place where no one speaks the same language, and as you are five years old as far as you know your mum’s name is ‘mum’. This is a heartbreaking tale of loss, exploitation, and the struggle to find what home means. Now due to the nature of the film, its structure and the very nature that it is based off a true story it becomes quite hard to talk about aspects of the film without discussing the second half of the film. So for this reason from here on into the end, a SPOILER warning is now in place.